“It’s a dream come true.”
A destructive and hard-working forward who has showed continued growth, Jacob Saifiti is a story of overcoming adversity and reaping the rewards.
Saifiti has penned a new two-year deal with the nib Newcastle Knights keeping the 25-year-old at the club until the end of the 2023 season.
Having made his debut in 2016 and featuring in 90 NRL games for the Knights, Saifiti is one of the Club’s longest-serving players.
J-Saf opened up on what the news means to him.
“It means the world to re-sign with the Club,” Jacob said.
“Early on there wasn’t too much success, but we’re seeing the better side of things now.
“We’ve got a really good core group of players and I’m glad the Club’s put their faith in me to be a part of it.
“To able to pull on the jersey and represent the community, and the legends that have come before us, it’s something I don’t take lightly.”
The milestone moment for Jacob will also be shared with the news twin-brother, Daniel, has also inked an extension with the Club.
Coaches strive to find strong connections between players as they battle side-by-side, however the Saifiti brothers have had that since birth.
The brothers form an incredible bond and make-up a special duo in the Knights frontline.
Having played together since they were eight years old, made their debuts alongside each other and been along for the ride ever since.
The Saifiti brothers are ready for the next chapter on their incredible journey together.
“Not only do I do something I love personally, but to do it with my best mate, my twin brother is so special,” Saifiti said.
“I definitely won’t take it for granted and we’ll do the Club proud.”
Many have noted Jacob’s impressive form this season having been one of the most consistent and best on ground for the Knights in 2021.
However, it’s been a long road for J-Saf to become an established first grade player.
One win in his first season and back-to-back wooden spoons, Saifiti had an extremely tough introduction to the top grade.
Floating in between NSW Cup and the NRL, J-Saf had his breakthrough season last year, playing in all 21 games with a career-best run metres tally of just over 2,300 metres for an average of 111 per game.
The 25-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength this season to become a regular starter and combine for an imposing one-two punch with his brother in the middle.
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“When you’ve got a good forward pack around you with Daniel, Klemmer, Barnett, Frizell, it makes my job a lot easier,” Saifiti said.
“My off-field preparation has been consistent with my eating and my weight.
“I think it’s starting to show on the field.
“It’s been a bumpy road to get here footy-wise.
“I think all my hard-work has paid off.”
The Knights currently sit in ninth ahead of a massive back end to the 2021 season.
It’s all guns blazing towards the finish line and Saifiti says the team is prepared for a strong end to the year.
“We’re hitting our stride at the right time and we’re getting troops back," Saifiti said.
“Our main goal is to play semi-finals football. The Club deserves it, we deserve it and the fans deserve it.”